I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Michael Bereslavsky from The Domain Magnate Show. We discussed website flipping strategies, website fund strategies, easy wins, and more.
Check it out!
Interview Video and Podcast
View the video below:
Listen to the podcast below:
Interview Show Notes
Michael Bereslavsky hosts Mushfiq on Episode 33 of the Domain Magnate Show. Both Michael and Mushfiq are long-time website flippers. Micheal entered the game in 2005 while Mushfiq made his first sale in 2010. Throughout this interview, they discuss the current state of the industry, reminisce about days long gone, and reflect on how the industry might evolve in the future. Mushfiq also offers several case studies of successful buys and explains what monetization strategies and tactics he uses when flipping a website.
- Mushfiq built his first website in 2008. Since then, he has flipped over 175 websites.
- Today, he flips four to five sites a year for at least $100,000 each while brokering smaller deals.
- Additionally, he releases a newsletter about website flipping called The Website Flip that is released thrice weekly to his subscribers.
About the Newsletter (2:26-4:39)
- The newsletter was officially launched in April 2020 but was built from an email list he began growing in 2010/2011 that offered subscribers a survey of deals Mushfiq had spotted on Flippa.
- Mushfiq now sells four to five small websites a month for under $50,000 through his newsletter.
- Using the newsletter, Mushfiq can find a buyer for a site within 24 hours and close the deal easily with low broker fees.
- 32x is the average monthly multiple uses when brokering a sale through the newsletter in addition to a minimum $500 or 8% commission fee.
Reminiscing About the Past (4:39-10:43)
- Michael and Mushfiq began building sites before website flipping had become a common practice. When Michael bought his first site in 2005 he “thought that was a stupid thing to do” (5:33- 35) while Mushfiq was surprised in 2010 when Brandon Lee offered to purchase his site.
- When Mushfiq first began flipping websites, multiples were was as low as 7-10x. Within the last decade, that number has jumped to over 30x.
- In the early days, it was easier to increase the monthly revenue on a site because most website builders did not know how to properly apply SEO techniques or use tools like Google AdSense.
- Most deals were done through “random private contracts, forum messages [with] no proper brokerage and then Flippa came around, that changed things” (8:20-26).
Mushfiq’s Big Wins (10:44-11:50)
- The first big flip was in 2016 when he sold a site on Flippa for $120,000.
- His second and currently biggest flip was in 2018 when he sold a site for $200,000. The site was purchased for $23,000 10 months earlier.
- He is currently on course to sell a site for $300,000 soon and another for $500,000 within the next one to two years.
Mushfiq’s Strategy for Easy, Rapid Gains (11:51-16:31)
- Mushfiq’s Strategy for Easy, Rapid Gains: Mushfiq purchases websites built by hobbyists who have produced excellent content and generated high traffic but failed to monetize traffic. He then applies a series of CRL techniques and SEO changes to rapidly increase monthly revenue within one to two months. For these sites, he is willing to pay much more than the industry average but won’t pay more than $50,000.
- Tactics To Implement: Some tactics Mushfiq deploys as part of this strategy include using Google Analytics to determine the top 10 to 20 traffic generating pages and applying immediate CRL changes that can increase the site’s revenue by 10x within one or two months.
- Example of Strategy: A site with 100,000 monthly visitors was receiving $300 to $400 in monthly revenue. Mushfiq purchased the site for $32,000 (75x monthly revenue) and immediately added affiliate links to the top 10 to 20 traffic-producing pages. Along with SEO changes, “within a month or two…it went up to 5K, and then it just kept growing from there” (12:35-43).
More About the Newsletter (16:32-18:10)
- Brokering is not Mushfiq’s primary business.
- While some deals are brokered through his newsletter, the primary purpose of the newsletter is to offer free education about how to perform due diligence as a buyer and seller within the website flipping market.
What Does the Future Hold? (20:01-28:06)
- More individual and institutional investors are going to continue entering the industry. Because they are able and willing to pay more for website assets, this will likely drive prices higher.
- More services will likely emerge to help newcomers emerging into the industry learn how to buy, sell, grow, and monetize their websites.
- Both Flippa and Empire Flippers are likely to grow, though they will likely target two different sub-classes of website buyers and sellers. Empire Flippers will likely attract the emerging top tier of the market while Flippa will continue to attract those like Mushfiq and Michael who know how to buy distressed websites and realize their growth potential.
Domain Magnate’s Fund Strategy (28:07- 32:36)
- Domain Magnate has built family funds of website builders that pool their liquidity together to purchase a portion of a more expensive website than they would be able to purchase alone.
- Domain Magnate is now trying to build a third fund of $10 million with 5 to 10 larger businesses investing around 1 to 2 million dollars. This would give them the liquidity to implement a diverse range of strategies for buying, growing, monetizing, and selling higher-tier sites that would be more likely found on Empire Flippers than Flippa.
Email Lists and Newsletters (35:34-38:50)
- To generate new subscribers, Mushfiq offers a checklist as a lead magnet and uses Optinmonster, a pop-up plug with good conversion rates, to capture the email.
- Subsequently, three informational email newsletters are sent followed by one commercial email newsletter as part of an automated 32 email sequence.
- Mushfiq’s primary goal is to increase organic and social traffic to funnel that traffic into subscriptions to the email list/newsletter.
- 40% of his revenue is generated from the email list while 60% is generated from sales on the site.
- The effectiveness of an email list-based newsletter depends on the niche. To determine whether an email list or newsletter would be effective within a given niche, Mushfiq assesses whether competitors within that niche are seeing positive results from email lists.
- If the site is soliciting a registration for a service or a single-product purchase, it is unlikely that an email list would be beneficial. However, if there is a diverse range of alternating products for sale or a significant amount of information that can be useful for subscribers, an email list or newsletter makes sense.
Finding the Sweet Spot (38:51-39:42)
- Mushfiq currently manages five sites with a team. He calls this “the sweet spot” (39:01-02).
- Michael and Mushfiq warn against owning too many sites because if too many sites are owned, then they can’t all receive the attention needed to realize their growth potential and will die.
- In around 2016 Mushfiq owned 18 sites and saw that they were beginning to die, so he liquidated all of them and begin rebuilding his portfolio from scratch.
Mushfiq’s Advice for Wealthy Investors Entering the Industry (40:54-41:50)
- For investors investing $100,000 or more, Mushfiq states that practicing due diligence is essential for success in any industry but especially the website flipping industry.
- Investors with significant money should take courses before investing in the industry.